2018-2019 Board of Directors
Prior 2017-2018 Board of Directors
2018-2019 Leadership Team
Pictured Left to Right. Row 1: Sharon Seelye (Sustainer Co-Director), Joyce Salisbury (Nominating & Engagement Chair and Diversity & Inclusion Chair), Christy Peterson (Secretary), Carole Majka (Sustainer Co-Director), Laurel Palmer (President Elect) Row 2: Shannon Kelly (VP Membership), Jennifer Young (Parliamentarian), Maggie Hesketh (President), Alice Henderson (VP Community Impact), Mariah Lietzau (VP Fund Development), Krista Haley (Treasurer), Andrea Garver (Assistant Treasurer)
Maggie Hesketh, President 2018-19
I was born near Birmingham, England in 1977 and grew up in with one older sister. I received my Bachelor of Science in Geology from Manchester University in 1998 and I then moved to Nottingham University where I took a 2 year teaching certificate to qualify me to teach High-School Math.
I met my husband, Ian, at University and we married in 2002. I worked as a High School teacher for 11 years in England and Wales before we emigrated to Portage, MI in 2011 for my husband to work at Stryker. I have 2 sons, 8 and 10, both of whom were born in the UK.
Since moving to the USA, I have been very active in the community volunteering with the Salvation Army, Loaves & Fishes, Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center as well as being PTO president of my son’s school for 3 years. I joined the Junior League of Kalamazoo in 2014 looking for something which would allow me to help my community while meeting new people and I have loved every minute of it.
I was New Member Chair in 2015-16, Touch-A-Truck Chair in 2016-17 and President-Elect in 2017-18. I am the President of the Junior League of Kalamazoo for 2018-19 and I am incredibly excited for what this year has to offer our members!
Laurel Palmer, President Elect 2018-19
I was born and raised in Reading, PA in a rural community. My family is Pennsylvania Dutch (mostly of German descent).Upon graduating from high school, I entered Cedar Crest College which is a small all women’s college in Allentown, PA. My College career was an incredibly transformative and empowering experience. I am immensely grateful to have had an all-women’s college experience and would make the same college choice again.
I went to graduate school at Michigan State University; My master’s degree is in college student development and my goal coming out of graduate school was to pursue a career in higher education. While pursuing my degree I met my husband, Steve.I have two incredible and amazing children who are both miracles and I am eternally grateful that they chose my husband and me to be their parents. I balance my time between my full-time work as a fundraiser at Kalamazoo College, teaching at WMU part-time and various volunteer organizations. In my free time I enjoy antiquing, making crafts with my daughter, and visiting my family back East.
When I moved to Kalamazoo I really worked to learn about the community and to build networks. It was during these pursuits that I found out about the Junior League of Kalamazoo (JLK). The JLK has and continues to be such an important part of keeping me engaged with the Kalamazoo community. It has given me many opportunities for personal and professional growth. In the coming year I look forward to learning more about the individual women of our League and what motivates and empowers all of us. In addition, I look forward to learning more about all of the workings of the JLK and honoring the work and contributions of our members past and present.
Christy Peterson, Secretary 2018-20
I was born in Ft. Wayne, IN and grew up on Coldwater Lake, MI. I have a very large family and amazing parents. I graduated from Michigan State University (Go Green!) with a degree in Business Management in 2002. I worked as the bookkeeper for Branch Area Transit Authority in Coldwater and relocated to Kalamazoo in 2005 and began working for The Hinman Company, a commercial real estate leasing, management and development company, as the Accounting Assistant. I have received several promotions over the years and currently is the Assistant Controller/Human Resources. I am married Erik and has several 4-legged kids. They enjoy camping, boating, wine tasting, concerts, Detroit baseball, WMU hockey and MSU football & basketball.
Joining the league in 2010 hoping to make some local friends, a passion to volunteer and lead has grown with the experiences and opportunities I've had in League. II have worked on many committees and has had many roles since joining the League: Special Events Chair, Annual Fund Chair, Fundraising Treasurer, VP of Fund Development, Ways & Means Committee, Technology Adhoc, Marketing & Communications (creating our current website, member database, and cloud-based document storage system), President-Elect, and President in 2016-2018. I love to help anyone with excel sheets that would let me, and loves parliamentary procedure. This year I will serve as our Secretary and for the Michigan State Council of Junior Leagues (the 9 Michigan leagues combined together) as Treasurer.
I am thankful for the chance to share my knowledge and help other members learn more about what JLK can offer women who want to be leaders in our organization and community, and to watch our future leaders become unstoppable! #LeagueforLife
Krista Haley, Treasurer 2018-19
I was born and raised in Midland, MI and then away to school at Purdue University. I graduated with my Industrial Management degree in 1999. I started at a litigation consulting company later that summer in Chicago and loved living there for about 15 years before moving to Kalamazoo for my husband's job. I currently work part time from home for the same Chicago firm.
This is my second active year in JLK and look forward to transitioning up to Treasurer from Assistant Treasurer for this league year.
I am lucky to be called mama by two amazing kiddos. A few of my other loves are karaoke, board/card games, tabata boot-camp class and college basketball.
Andrea Garver, Assistant Treasurer 2018-19
I was born in Dayton, Ohio and grew up mostly south of Fort Wayne, Indiana. My job and my husband brought me to Michigan; I work as an outpatient dietitian at the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center helping people prevent or manage chronic conditions and become a healthier version of themselves through their nutrition.
I joined the JLK to connect with the community and like-minded women.
I enjoy being active outdoors (often with our furry pup Lucy), cooking, traveling, and spending time with family.
Jennifer Young, Parliamentarian 2018-19
I grew up in the beautiful state of Oregon as an only child with a variety of pets. After completing my B.S. in food science from the University of Idaho, I moved to Indiana for Graduate school at Purdue University. While there, I earned my M.S. in Food Chemistry and met my now husband, Patrick. We moved to Portage in April of 2013 for my job in Schoolcraft.
I joined the Junior League in 2014 to find volunteer opportunities outside of normal working hours and to meet other accomplished women who want to actively improve the community. Since joining, I have served on the E&T committee and on the board as Secretary. This league year, I look forward to using my training as Parliamentarian and to serve on the Nominating and Engagement committee.
In the time I have outside of work and Junior League, I like to spend it with my 3 year old son and 1 year old daughter. I also try to exercise and read, but usually end up watching Netflix.
Shannon Kelly, Vice President of Membership 2018-20
Born and raised in the Grand Rapids area, I have lived in Kalamazoo for the past 3 years out of college with the leadership role of Practice Manager for OsborneKlein. I am involved with many organizations within the Kalamazoo community. I am currently involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Irish American Club of Kalamazoo, Irish Fest, and Kalamazoo Area Runners. I enjoy helping others, whether at work or in the community, and believe in not just being a part of an organization but being active within it.
In my spare time, I go trout fishing, travel to NHL arenas, love all things Disney, run Spartan Races (AROO), and camp in our Pure Michigan. In total I ran over 100 miles in 6 states driving over 10,000 miles in 2017 to compete in the Spartan Race series while satisfying my wanderlust.
I joined JLK because it was an organization that thought about growth, retention, and becoming a staple in the community. We think about our members and what our members get from us not just what we can get from our members. I have stayed because every year is something new. JLK doesn’t get stagnant and if it does… you’re not JLK’ing right. I have gained a wealth of leadership skills and how to time manage my duties/responsibilities alongside my other everyday schedule, which is harder than you would think at times! I hope to continue to gain leadership skills because I believe no one person can ever stop learning or have learned everything. I hope to push myself in ways I have not yet by being uncomfortable, become more confident, and help make the League an organization that women join and stay a part of for years. #beyondsustainers #not5yearsforlife
Mariah Lietzau, Vice President of Fund Development 2017-2019
I was born and raised in a small town south of Flint, MI. I came to Kalamazoo as a freshman at Western Michigan, and other than working a few summers at a horse ranch, I have been here ever since. I joined the Junior League because I wanted to meet like-minded people- and I am so glad that I did. The women that I met have become some of my favorite people. My husband and I had a baby last year, and so I left my job to be a stay at home mom. I now spend my days watching cartoons, reading, snuggling, giggling, and floating in the pool.
Alice Henderson, Vice President of Community Impact 2018-19
My name is Alice Henderson. I am a born and raised Hoosier. I graduated from Indiana University a life time ago. After graduation, I lived in Chicago and then the suburbs before recently moving to Kalamazoo. I heard about Junior League in Chicago but never had the time to join. I joined our Kalamazoo chapter in January 2018 because I love the mission of helping the community while strengthening women’s leadership skills. What a great combo! I’ve already seen some amazing work done by the organization and I look forward to next year’s community events and leadership opportunities.
A fun fact about me – I’m obsessed with dogs. Don’t tell me you have a puppy unless you’re willing to show me a million pictures or better yet, let me meet your puppy! My babies names are Hoosier (slightly overweight geriatric beagle) and Daisy (incredibly energized puppy). My less furry family members include my husband, Brett, and my son.
Joyce Salisbury, Chair of Nominating & Engagement and Diversity & Inclusion
I was born in Royal Oak, MI the last of 8 children in a "mine, yours and ours" family. Growing up, my family owned bars, pizzerias, arcades and an ice cream store, unfortunately it was bars until I was 18 and then the arcades and ice cream store. My first job was folding pizza boxes for $.01 each.
I went to work at General Motors at 19 as a Co-op from GMI (now Kettering) and studied Manufacturing Systems Engineering. I went to Northwestern/Kellogg for Masters in Engineering and MBA. Chicago is still one of my favorite cities. I have been at GM for 29 years and am currently the Technical Director of Online Research and Analytics. I work out of my house and go to Detroit a few days per month.
I am married to Greg who works at Consumers Energy and we have a 9th grade son, Andrew, who attended KCDS and now KAMSC and Hackett. We also have a 5 year old Schnoodle named Maizey.
We moved to Kalamazoo in 2008 and I joined the Junior League in 2010. I joined to connect with women in the community because working from home can be lonely. I stay in the League because I love to learn new things and enjoy the company of the other women. I have been on Marketing and E&T, Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Nominating and now Nominating Chair and Diversity and Inclusion.
I enjoy home renovating, boating, watching soccer, traveling, technology and performing Improv with the Blab Rats. My Top 5 strengths are: Maximizer, Positivity, Futuristic, Strategic and Achiever.
Carole Majka – Sustainer Co-Director 2017-19
I was born and raised in the Cleveland, OH area. I attended Kent State University and in 1971 married my high school sweetheart, Jim. In 1981 we moved to Portage. We have two children. Erin, who lives in Portage, and Adam, who lives in Mattawan with his wife. Julia. We have two grandchildren, Harrison, 6 years old, and Charlotte, who is 4. We know how lucky we are that everyone lives locally.
I worked at Upjohn for 11 years in the WW Congress and Meeting Department. When Upjohn moved to NJ, I left and started my own meeting planning company, UnConventional Events, LLC. I work out of our home. My clients are all pharmaceuticals and I specialize in planning their attendance at major medical conventions. For the past 20 years I have worked as a sole proprietor and loved it. My career has allowed me to travel throughout the world and meet the most wonderful people. I have subcontractors who assist on larger meetings. I am in the process of handing off more of the pre/post planning to them, which has allowed me to transition into working fewer hours and having a life outside of work.
Becoming active in Sustainers has been a godsend in helping me find an activity other than work that I truly enjoy. I am renewing old friendships, making new, and completely enjoying every minute of it!
Sharon Seelye - Sustainer Co-Director 2017-19
Born 1951 in San Francisco, I moved to Kalamazoo when I was 8. I graduated from Comstock High School in 1969. I graduated from Adrian College in 1973 with major in Secondary Education - major in Sociology and minor in Biology. I married Mike in 1974 - he is the President of Seelye Auto Group.
I taught middle school science at Delton Kellogg Middle School for 5 years before becoming a stay at home mom to Mickey, Michelle and Mauri. I joined Service Club in 1979 and became active in the Junior League of Kalamazoo in 1980.
My placements in the League included: cookbook committee, Chair of "YOU ARE SPECIAL" (with the YWCA), we won the group STAR award that year, placement chair, corresponding secretary, clothes encounters worker and child selection for Pretty Lake Camp.
Other volunteer organizations I work with include: board member of community healing center (formerly guidance clinic), Big Brother/Big Sisters, board member of Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, trustee of Kalamazoo Civic Theatre Foundation, parents of portage central board member, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra League board member, American Cancer Society, partners in dance board member (WMU) and Capital Campaign co-chair of the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre.
Currently: I have 8 grandchildren who live in Kalamazoo (lots of fun), I play tennis, work out and still volunteer for the above organizations. I have enjoyed getting involved with the Junior League again and look forward to a fun year!